I thought long and hard about this title. I tried titles that were a bit simpler like: Rubber shoes FTL or Rubber shoes, who would wear ‘em? I even tried a title that would fit on one line. But then I wrote down what I really feel and this, my friends, is how I feel every time I see some middle-aged white guy strolling through the North End in multi-colored rubber shoes. There is a reason for the Facebook group: I don’t care how comfortable Crocs are, you look like a dumbass. You do.
Okay, so then the folks at Crocs come out with their new Spring/Summer line of shoes. I will say that as a marketer, it is brilliant. Someone at Crocs WHQ probably said, let’s expand our market and go after the people who won’t wear the rubber shoes because they look ridiculous. Yeah, you know the other zillion Americans that will wear rubber shoes that kinda look like shoes? Yeah, yeah. Let’s make the ugly rubber shoes look more like real shoes! Maybe it will double our revenue?! Wicked smart.
The problem is they are a) still rubber and b) still ugly.
Then, one of my fave sample sale sites, Ideeli, had a sale today for Melissa Shoes. The brand is new to me and, I will say, they give the Crocs new line a run for it’s money. While the Melissa shoes are still rubber and still ugly, they at least try to look more like something a somewhat stylish person would choose to wear. The Crocs people talk about “fusing comfort and style seamlessly” and “wearable hugs.” I know not of either of these nirvanas and know that, if they did exist, they certainly would not come in rubber.
Christopher Muther at the Boston Globe recently wrote a very funny post about how he became a Crocs “convert”, well sort of. I appreciate his candid quote where he says, “…but I’m not ready to part with my “Friends don’t let friends wear Crocs’’ T-shirt quite yet.” Well said, Mr. Muther.
I keep coming back around to a few main issues. First, rubber shoes make your feet sweat. There’s no way for those things to breathe – I don’t care if they have holes in the top and are made of super-special rubber technology, feet sweat, especially when it’s 90 degress out and feet encased in sweaty rubber is just gross. Second, they look like you chose comfort over style. There, I said it. Everyone I talk to about this subject says, “They are so comfortable!” Not one person EVER says: “They look so great!” And, lastly, well, I hate to say it, but it makes you look like you couldn’t spend the time to go to a normal shoe store, try on some normal shoes and actually make an effort to make footwear a part of your wardrobe. For this last unfortunate issue…I quietly shed a tear.
So, my rubber shoe wearing friend, what say you as to why I should embrace the rubber shoe bonanza and make it part of my wardrobe? I anxiously await your rebuttal. For those of you who agree with me, I welcome your non-rubber support.
PS: I think this is the most times I’ve written down the word “rubber”. Ever. It is a weird word. Okay, that is all. Talk amongst yourselves.